As Ravi Shastri would put it, we have now reached the ‘business end’ of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. Thus, we believe that the time is perfect for us to try and answer the all important question – who will win the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015? In order to find a satisfactory answer to this question, we need to proceed in a step-wise manner. So, we shall move from the semi finals to the final, and along the way highlight the reasons which make a certain team the strongest contender for the Cup.
Semi Final 1 : New Zealand vs South Africa
Venue – Eden Park, Auckland
Date – March 24, 2015
Predicted winner – New Zealand
A cracking contest appears to be on the cards as New Zealand and South Africa are set to meet each other in the 1st semi final at Auckland on March 24. The Kiwis have enjoyed an unbeaten run in the tournament so far, and would be basking in a sea of confidence ahead of the encounter. The Proteas, on the other hand, had to struggle initially, when they lost to India and Pakistan in the group stages. However, skipper AB de Villiers’ recent public statements reveal that his troops have discovered the elusive rhythm after a victory in the quarter final against Sri Lanka. However, a simple analysis of the performances of the two teams in the tournament so far shall easily concede the advantage to New Zealand. Auckland has been a happy hunting ground for New Zealand in their own backyard, and the Proteas have had their own issues adjusting to different conditions in Australia and New Zealand in the last one month. So, New Zealand appear set to walk into the finals after Tuesday’s match.
Semi Final 2 : India vs Australia
Venue – Sydney Cricket Ground, Australia
Date – March 26, 2015
Predicted winner – Australia
There appears to be no denying the fact that the Indians have beaten all odds and come up with a stellar run of unbeaten form in this World Cup. The Australians, too, have been dominant in the tournament, barring a heartbreaking loss to New Zealand in the group stages. Thursday’s contest holds its own charms, but Australia appear to have the upper hand this time. Even though Indian fans have painted entire stadiums blue with their presence in this World Cup, Australia’s ‘home advantage’ in Sydney cannot be ruled out. A ‘layer of grass’ is apparently what Michael Clarke has asked for, ahead of this all important match, and the Sydney curator may, in all probability, oblige his captain with the same. The intimidating presence of Glenn Maxwell in the death overs and the looming threat of David Warner at the top ought to hand Australia a famous victory at Sydney on Thursday.
Final : Australia vs New Zealand
Venue – Melbourne Cricket Ground, Australia
Date – March 29, 2015
Flashback Cricket World Cup 2011, and you shall know why home teams are the strongest contenders in World Cups these days. It appears set to be an Australia vs New Zealand show on Sunday, just as it was Sri Lanka vs India (co hosts of the tournament four years ago) on April 2, 2011. And this shall be the best opportunity for Australia to avenge their defeat to the very same opposition in Auckland, just a few weeks ago. New Zealand have been totally stationed at home, throughout this tournament. And if they are to make it to the finals, they would be playing outside the comfort of their home for the first time in nearly 40 days! The size of MCG too may appear overwhelming for the Kiwi batsmen who have been too acquainted with the shorter boundaries of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Needless to say, the Aussies shall have every opportunity to pounce on the weaknesses of their arch rivals on Sunday, and secure their 5th World Cup title!
The ultimate answer to – Who will win the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015?
It looks straight and simple for Australia from hereon! But, as some pundits would say, ‘Cricket is a game of glorious uncertainties’. For us fans, the best thing would be to sit and watch as the Cricket World Cup 2015 dazzles us with some more action in its last week!